What are the Blue Zone secrets to longevity and anti-aging?
Ikaria (a Greek island), Sardinia (an Italian island), Nicoya (in Costa Rica), Okinawa (a Japanese group of islands), and Loma Linda (in California) make up the worlds precious 5 ‘Blue Zones’, where people live significantly longer and healthier lives than average. In our current times of questionable directives from mainstream or government ‘health experts’ we might be wise to look to the blue zones for a balanced and real world understanding of wellbeing.
In the blue zones, some fundamental lifestyle aspects are consistent: 1. Life is not a race. Unhealthy stress is more than avoided, it is basically forbidden. 2. Family is everything, and the elderly play important community roles. 3. Having an active social life and frequent community fun. 4. Spirituality is part of everyday life and human connections. 5. Real, natural food is enjoyed at every meal, processed food is virtually absent. 6. An inherent, natural approach to caloric intake – not too little, not too much. 7. Everyone has an active lifestyle; it is an inseparable part of life. 8. Appointments are not often set; time is valued and managed differently. 9. Sleep and awakening are done according to internal clocks and the sun/moon risings. 10. Dementia and depression are rare. 11. People live well into their 90’s and often beyond 100, in good health. 12. They have a sense of life purpose and relevance within their community. 13. This study shows telomeres are found to be longer in blue zone inhabitants, a key indicator of longevity and wellness. *Telomeres are fascinating, learn more about them in my quick video here. Nutritionally, blue zone diets include a high intake of vegetables, a small or moderate intake of quality animal proteins and fats, fish, olive oil, organic legumes, and organic whole grains, minimal wine, and little to no added sugars. There are individual qualities to each of the zones, for example the Okinawa people consume a lot of sweet potato, and Sardinians consume more grains than the other groups, but ultimately the simple nutritional principles of natural and whole foods are paramount. Within these simple natural foods can be found a plethora of anti-ageing and immune boosting nutrients such as omega 3 fats, astaxanthin, polyphenols, ginseng, vitamin C, resveratrol, turmeric (curcumin), vitamin E, and many more. It goes without saying that natural sunlight exposure and healthy vitamin D profiles are also fundamental. Importantly, these groups of people live with a notable absence of medications. We are living in an era of declining health and high rates of chronic diseases even in our children. This begs the question, is our current paradigm of looking to allopathic medical protocols for ‘solutions’ to minor or chronic health ailments perhaps contributing to our failing collective health? The answers to longevity, immunity and wellness certainly seems to be found in something, or all the things, that these groups are doing - and not doing. Here is a great and well referenced article on this topic.
If you are as curious as me about the worlds 5 ‘Blue Zones’, then bookmark it for a lazy/relaxed research one day when you need a calming and beneficial topic to look into. It’s a great way to inspire healthier home and family practices and to restore some faith in human ways! Love, Sarah xx P.S. For information about 1 on 1 online nutrition consults, please click here and tell us a little about what you are looking for :)